Five Eagle Rock students recently joined a pair of administrators in a weeklong tour of California college and university campuses as a part of an Explore Week course called College Tour.
Students Edna, Malyk, Hana, Alizja, and Austin visited Caltech in Pasadena, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Santa Monica College, The Studio School in Los Angeles, UCLA, California State University of Los Angeles, and Occidental College during their tour. Leading these students were Chris Lamar, our school counselor, and Laila Hosseinzadeh, our 2019/2020 Public Allies Fellow in the Life After Eagle Rock.
And indeed, life after Eagle Rock was the entire focus of the Explore Week road trip, with students focusing on finding the perfect institute of higher learning while still in high school.
One highlight of the tour was a stop at Santa Monica College, where students met with Frank Dawson, the interim Dean of Career Education at that college’s Center for Media & Design. Dawson’s daughter is Nia Dawson, Eagle Rock’s student services program manager.
While there, students learned that there are many solid two-year colleges that specialize in preparing students to transfer into four-year colleges and universities. In fact, Santa Monica College transfers more students to UCLA, USC, the UC system, and Loyola Marymount University than and other college in the nation.
En route to the campuses, Chris and Laila assisted our students in preparing questions that could help them in the decision-making process associated with choosing a college or university. These included queries about financial aid, transfer requirements, demographics of the student body, student support systems, academic course programs, campus culture, and living options both on and off campus.
The group spent evenings at their centrally located Airbnb to review and discuss the schools they visited. Students said they came away from the tour with a better understanding of their higher education options.
And as long as they were visiting what many consider the premiere vacation destination in the western United States, both students and staff took full advantage of their scarce free time by visiting the Griffith Park Observatory, Santa Monica Pier, and Venice Beach.
Upon return to Colorado, the students shared information about the tours with advisors back on campus. These discussions are expected to go a long way in helping the participating students and others prepare applications for admission to these and other colleges and universities. Even those not located near California’s golden coast.